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The Dominican Republic and other countries in the Caribbean and Central America have banned fishing and selling lobsters from March 1st to June 30th. This ban has been in place for the past fourteen years and applies not only to the fishery of lobsters but also to the processing, meat, mass possession, and marketing of these creatures. As a result, restaurants and tour operators cannot stockpile lobsters during this period.
The ban is necessary because Caribbean Spiny Lobsters are currently in danger due to overfishing and poaching. These creatures need time to repopulate, and their mating season is during the banned period. Therefore, the ban aims to protect the species by providing them a period to repopulate without disturbance.
CODOPESCA, the Dominican Council of Fishing and Aquaculture, obligates all supermarkets, restaurants, and fisheries to refrain from hunting, purchasing, selling, or serving lobsters during this period. They are also required to report their lobster stock within the first ten business days of the ban, and once verified by CODOPESCA, they have 20 days to consume, sell, or discard their stock.
The ban helps preserve the species and improve the quality of lobsters for exports. Disrespecting the ban can lead to fines of up to US$50,000 and jail sentences of up to 10 years.
We encourage everyone to support the ban by refraining from buying or consuming lobsters during the banned period. It is our responsibility to protect these creatures so that they can continue to thrive and we can continue to enjoy their delicious taste for years to come. Remember, what are a few months without lobster compared to the survival of the species?